Shirley and Shirley Unleashed ★★★★

The opening skit of the latest Shirley adventure features two Edinburgh ladies hunched under an umbrella pondering whether to see the show having heard it’s all ‘cock’ ‘fanny’ and arsehole’ with lots of ‘bad accents.’ It’s true that almost every sketch has been allocated its own accent – the South African Dragon’s Den contenders and the Manchester scallies for example – and there are plenty of below the belt references, but this is a sassy and inventive tour de force of a show.

Some of the references are familiar; the aforementioned scallies and obligatory (albeit passing) mention of 50 Shades. There are also street-talking rude girls but the twist is that they’re Kate and Pippa Middleton; it’s a simple conceit but one with plenty of mileage in laughs. Elsewhere a particular innovative highlight is the mime played out to Lana Del Rey‘s ‘Video Games’.

Throughout it’s cheeky and often close-to-the-bone plus they’re fearless when it comes to audience participation – literally reaching parts of the room that most sketch troupes don’t venture.

Shirley and Shirley Unleashed